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The Roman Period (by C Beadle)
The area was part of the territory of the Celtic tribe known as the CORITANI, who had tribal centres at Leicester and Lincoln. When the Romans arrived they either took over or exploited what had become a well settled agricultural region. There are 3 important Celtic-Roman roadways close by SALTERS WAY, SEW$TERN LANE & THE FOSSE WAY.
THE FOSSE WAY
This is the name given to the important Roman Road running North to South on the western side of Great Britain. Travellers on the road were served by a system of way stations or MANSIOS. The Fosse runs close to Hickling, Hickling Pastures and Upper Broughton Parish.
‘There was a Roman Station at Hickling’ I Kelly 1855]
‘At Hicklin we are informed by Camden was a Roman Station. It lies I distance of about 3½ miles from Willoughby, The Vernometum of the Romans and 2½ miles from the Fosse Road’ (Additions to Thoroton, Thoroton. Nottinghamshire).
The Romano-British dwellers in this area were grain producing and animal rearing farmers providing food for themselves and for the nearby cities of RATAE (LEICESTER) and LINDUM COLONIA (Lincoln). The Fosse Way was the main route from the Humber to the South West. Trackways were used to get to the Fosse. Evidence of part of one which is still in use today is Folly Hall Lane which would have led to the Roman Town by the Fosse.
Nearby and close to Hickling Pastures was VERNOMETUM (it is shown to have various spelling variations). This was a walled Roman Town defended with earth and timber ramparts and ditches with a wide variety of good housing, a temple and a theatre. There were stone municipal buildings and many paved sheets.
VERNOMETUM means Spring Grove.
The area has never been fully excavated according to Peter Liddle, archaeologist and there may still yet to be found many ancient treasures.
There has been over the years many stories of Roman items being found close to Hickling Pastures. Whether, there was just one discovery or if there have been several is unclear; particularly where one article reports as a hoard of gold coins being deposited with the Nottinghamshire Castle Museum and another reports a quantity of Roman Medals being sold to a Nottingham printer.
‘ln 1771, a farmer ploughing in the fields, struck upon an urn which he found to contain a number of Roman coins, some the age of VESPASIAN’ (Additions to Thoroton…Thoroton, Nottinghamshire).
‘In 1771, a farmer whilst ploughing found a hoard of Roman silver coins and medals of the Roman period’ [White’s Directory 1894].
‘An urn containing 200 coins of the Emporer Vespasian was dug up in 1711.’ note a different year is mentioned (Morris 1877).
‘The silver medal,’ says Mr Merry of Nottingham, ‘found in the field at Hicklin about 1S miles from Nottingham were turned up by a plough. The Rev, Mr Morris, Minister of that place was well-versed in medals, and left on his death bed a good collection which his widow disposed of to a printer in Nottingham who published a catalogue of them,’ and they were sold, Mr Merry was informed by the farmer’s son who found the medals and by showing him some of the very pieces, he said that they were all of that size and sort which were Denarii.